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Poster: midnight sun Date: Oct 9, 2006 1:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

no doubt Keith's jazz background had a significant influence on expanding the bands harmonic scope (Eyes, Let it Grow, Slipknot!, Crazy Fingers, Stronger than Dirt/King Solomon, Terrapin, Estimated...)

i'm also a big fan of the acoustic piano contributions of Keith as well as Brent prior to that contraption he brought out in 1983...for better or for worse, it was never the same after that

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 9, 2006 2:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

That's a really interesting point about '83...

I think one of two things happened w/that contraption: either Brent didn't use it to its full potential OR he over-used (abused maybe?) it...that sounds contradictory, I know...but I think he started to do some very interesting things w/it that Hornsby sort of touched on as well later--like a calypso or reggae kind of sound that was just fantastic for pieces like Scarlet>Fire....If you listen to some of those Hartford 83 shows (DP6 for example) you can hear at the start of Scarlet he lays down some cool stuff....but he doesn't stick with it and later, especially from '85-'88 he tended to lapse into "bells" stuff...almost like cheesy strings on a Barry Manilow record (this goes with the songs he started playing that eventually showed up on Built to Last--like "Just a Little Light" and other tunes too horrible to mention....)

it's almost like he was either too lazy to really find the sounds the more classic songs needed to grow or didn;'t trust himself enough to play them...instead we got "pop" tune sounds that were great for the "In the Dark" crowd but left the more roots-oriented or jazz-loving DeadHeads out in the cold (rain and snow).

This sounds like Brent bashing, but I promise, it isn't...i absolutely loved his voice and his innate talent on the keys; just hated his songs and sometimes the way he played the good ones.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Oct 9, 2006 3:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

What I disliked the most was the heavy handed bar chord attacking the organ thing for lack of better description. Did sound cheesy to me. But like you I'm not bashing Brent, I could find many things I like about him.

But see what I mean? This was supposed to be a thread about Keith. Very unfairly underated imo.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 9, 2006 3:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Yes...weird how even tho' it's about keith, he always ends up being COMPARED to Brent! Guilty as charged, I guess ;-)

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Poster: doodle Date: Oct 9, 2006 5:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

I'm on board with Grendel here. It's also weird that my touring days were the 80's, and I loved it and Brent was the man, but I actually prefer the 73-75 GD stuff with Keith. He (and they at that time) was so amazing and fluid. I completely agree about the early Brent sounds too. The 83 stuff and the 79 sound when he came in - so cool! I wish he kept more of that sound and groove, but as other posters have mentioned, it was the direction the band as a whole was exploring that took things the way they went. What he was doing in 79, to me, was perhaps my favorite from him. Really neat stuff all around.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Oct 10, 2006 1:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: keith

Brent's 1983 keyboard had programmable pre-set sounds, so he must have tailored them to his taste

if i'm not mistaken he could also get an acoustic piano sound out of it, but for some reason he almost never selected it, or if he did he had some bell or synthetic string orchestra type sound attached to it

no doubt it allowed for a greater variety of sounds, but i still prefer the acoustic piano sound of the Yamaha he used prior to 83, maybe because he was more or less confined to it other than brief forays onto the B3 and the grotesque sounding little synth he had on top of it (which he rarely used)

Keith had loads of talent, started strong but then lost interest, my guess is he was bored, eventually proved to be more trouble than he was worth...Brent steadily improved throughout his tenure, a far better deal for GD in the long run, that is until his abrupt demise...

This post was modified by midnight sun on 2006-10-10 08:13:00